The shortage of GPs in Brand will be under the spotlight this week as the first public hearing of a Senate inquiry examining the issue gets underway in Canberra.
Labor called for the inquiry in a bid to investigate the critical lack of doctors across outer metropolitan, rural and regional Australia.
Submissions have been made to the inquiry from range of organisations, including doctors, GP practice managers, universities, peak bodies, health advocates and concerned patients.
“I hear it all the time when I’m out and about in the community - people are finding it really hard to see a doctor when they need it, and the pandemic has only made it more challenging,” Ms King said.
“It can be really stressful for families and it ultimately puts more pressure on hospitals.”
Ms King said the local community needed solutions to the crisis which is only getting worse.
Local GP practice leader Professor Martin Samy said the shortage of GPs was leading to longer wait times, taking a toll on local families and doctors themselves.
“Doctors are doing their best to support our community’s health needs, so we worry when we are stretched too thin because of the shortage.
“There’s a real risk that some local surgeries will close because there aren’t enough doctors,” Professor Samy said.
The Senate Inquiry will examine the Government’s current geographical classification system, the stronger Rural Health Strategy, GP training reforms, and the effects of the Medicare rebate freeze. The Inquiry will also assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on doctor shortages in outer metropolitan, rural, and regional Australia.
WEDNESDAY, 3 NOVEMBER 2021